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Guidance for students is 'vital', says GTC

It is "vital" that college students have better guidance, a report from the General Teaching Council for Scotland states.

The report declares: "All learners should have access to timetabled guidance which should be an integral part of all courses."

Students interviewed by a GTC task group were critical of the lack of guidance services provided in most colleges, particularly for those moving into employment.

Comments from the interviews included "a need for more guidance before leaving college", "more job-seeking skills would be useful" and "would like more guidance prior to leaving college and progressing to higher courses".

The report also calls for better communication between schools and colleges, particularly for students with recorded needs.

The task group highlighted concern from lecturers about inadequate staff development. When it was available, "it was often at the expense of other developmental activity or to be undertaken in time outwith the college day".

The report states: "In general, professional guidance staff in FE colleges do not always believe that they have the wide range of skills necessary to support learners in an appropriate manner.

"Effective guidance is required if learners who have previously not been attracted to FE colleges are to be recruited, retained and then attain their educational goals."

The report also recommends that guidance skills should be required elements of the Certificate of Tertiary Education and the Professional Development Award for FE lecturers. "There is a need for all staff, not only guidance specialists, to have at least an awareness of guidance skills," it states.

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